Madoff's Son Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

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Mark MadoffThe eldest son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff hanged himself by a dog leash in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday, the second anniversary of his father's arrest in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that swindled thousands of investors of their life savings, law enforcement officials said.

Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanging from a ceiling pipe in the living room of his SoHo loft apartment as his 2-year-old son slept in a nearby bedroom, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

Madoff, who reported his father to authorities, has never been criminally charged in the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history, that has snared a half-dozen Madoff employees.

Mark Madoff and his brother Andrew have said they were unaware of their father's crimes. But they have been remained under investigation and been named in multiple investor lawsuits accusing them of profiting from the scheme.

But a third law enforcement official said Sautrday that Madoff's arrest was not imminent, and that investigators purusing possible charges against him, his brother and uncle hadn't contacted him for more than a year. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mark Madoff killed himself on Saturday, said his lawyer, Martin Flumenbaum.

"This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy," Flumenbaum said in a written statement. "Mark was an innocent victim of his father's monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo."

A lawyer for Mark's mother, Ruth Madoff, said, "She's heartbroken." The lawyer, Peter Chavkin, had no further comment.

The law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the death.

Mark Madoff was found by his father-in-law, after his wife, Stephanie, became concerned when he sent an e-mail to her Friday night or early Saturday morning that someone should check on their 2-year-old son, law enforcement officials said. Madoff's wife, who is at Disney World in Florida with her 4-year-old daughter, sent her father to the home, where he found Madoff's body. The toddler was found unharmed, along with a dog.

Bernard Madoff, 72, swindled a long list of investors out of billions of dollars. He admitted that he ran his scheme for at least two decades, cheating thousands of individuals, charities, celebrities and institutional investors. Losses are estimated at around $20 billion, making it the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history.

He was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008, after confessing his crimes to his family.

The scandal put a harsh light on members of the family. The financier's brother, Peter, played a prominent role in the family's company. Mark and Andrew Madoff both worked on a trading desk at the firm, on a side of the business that wasn't directly involved in the Ponzi scheme.

In February, Mark Madoff's wife petitioned a court to change her last name and the last names of their two children, saying her family had gotten threats and was humiliated by the scandal.

A year ago, the court-appointed trustee trying to unravel Madoff's financial affairs sued several relatives, including Peter, Mark and Andrew, accusing them of failing to detect the fraud while living lavish lifestyles financed with the family's ill-gotten fortune.

The lawsuit accused Mark Madoff of using $66 million he received improperly to buy luxury homes in New York City, Nantucket and Connecticut.

A call to Bernard Madoff's attorney was not immediately returned Saturday. Calls to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's office were also not immediately returned. Previously, spokespeople for the brothers had repeatedly denied that they had any knowledge of their father's crimes.

Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said Saturday she didn't have specific information on whether Bernie Madoff had been informed of his son's death or would be allowed to attend a service. In general, she said, inmates are informed of a relative's death as soon as the institution is made aware of it and the bureau does allow furloughs for prisoners to attend memorial services.

A police officer stood guard in the lobby of Madoff's 12-story luxury loft apartment in SoHo Saturday morning.

The building sits on a busy block abutting Broadway in an area crowded with clothing botiques, cafes and art galleries. The sidewalks and cobblestone streets near the apartment were packed with Christmas shoppers Saturday, as dozens of reporters stood vigil.

Bystanders gawked as officials from the medical examiner's office removed the body early Saturday afternoon. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

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Yvette

I have read the comments regarding Mark and find them appalling. First off, in a family company or corporation, the children and grand children are not privy to what goes on, or how it got started. For instance, mafia - since when have you heard that the children and grand children were in cahoots with the family in how they treat people, get easy funds? Or how the company is run? You can watch movies - but they do not always despict what truly goes on. The investors should only go after the one that bilked them, not the family, but that seems to be not the case - they are after anything or anyone even though they had no clue what was going on. Secondly, these were "investors" ie - risk takers. You always take a risk when you invest - and personally, I would say part of the blame goes to the investors - for not truly investigating the whole thing before investing. Example you invest in the stock market. They lose your funds, do you go after the stock market and the people who invested your funds, and their children? Geez people, learn from your mistakes, and move forward, but don't condemn hildren and grand children when you initially took the risk on your ownself. My heart goes out to Mark's family, his children will never see their father again, and that has to be a horrible loss in any child's eyes.

December 13 2010 at 6:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alanwahlstrom

Hmm.. well.. I guess that's what going from a milti-million dollar environment to one that has a ceiling pipe in the living room will do for ya. Ah, the webs we weave.

December 13 2010 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ken

The author doesn't have spell check? "But a third law enforcement official said Sautrday". Good work.

December 13 2010 at 2:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

Again honey, what ethnic group was I making a reference to??? ARE YOU 'READING IN'????? AND WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE CHOSEN FOR??? AND ENTITLED TO WHAT??? SO WHAT IS A CONSTITUTION???? AND RIGHTS???? LIKE YOU CARE????

December 13 2010 at 2:18 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

NEGATION AND OBFUSCATION, onemightylight got a B in gangland criminal alibi psychology. THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH. Bye.

December 13 2010 at 1:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

If New York doesn't like the comments about the stock market-DEFEND YOURSELF.

December 13 2010 at 1:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

Yes, it seems doubtful that Madoff's wife and children were 'mary had a little lamb innocent'. The prison blues perhaps vile scum???

December 13 2010 at 1:40 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

The city that never sleeps. fine with me honey.

December 13 2010 at 1:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

Honey, gluttony is generally overeating. Ya' know, ya' stick twelve pounds of Chopped liver down ya' throat with pumpernickel, and ya have eight pounds of ice cream, so ya' gain thirty pounds on the weekend, sweetie, chopped livah. So then you have chosen yourself to be a fat broad. Was that clear???

December 13 2010 at 1:37 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
shiloh1388

So say what race you have in mind honey. Light from what, Satan?????

December 13 2010 at 1:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply